Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting for Animal Agriculture

Animal Manure Management July 24, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

logo for animal agriculture climate change which includes a weather vane with cow and topImportant note: Congress has prohibited EPA from expending any funds to implement subpart JJ (manure management) of the rule. Industry efforts to overturn subpart JJ are underway, but the outcome is unknown at this time. Though EPA cannot technically enforce the rule, livestock and poultry operations should remain aware of the requirements in the event the Congressional
prohibition is allowed to expire.

[Archived webinar] Mandatory GHG Reporting Rule & Carbon Footprint of Dairy Systems

Which Livestock or Poultry Facilities Meet the Reporting Threshhold?

Several industries are impacted by this rule, including animal agriculture. The rule estimates that around 100 animal facilities will meet the threshhold of 25,000 metric tons of annual carbon dioxide (equivalent) emissions. The following table was excerpted from page 558 of the rule after it was first published (2009). For updates, please visit the EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program.

Animal Population (Annual) Below Which Facilities Are Not Required to Report Emissions
Animal Group Average Annual Animal Population (Head)
Beef 29,300
Dairy 3,200
Swine 34,100
Poultry: Layers 723,000
Poultry: Broilers 38,160,000
Poultry: Turkeys 7,710,000

Facilities below these populations will not be required to report emissions. Facilities that meet or exceed these populations will need to conduct an analysis to determine if they emit more than 25,000 tons of CO2 equivalent.

An important point in the reporting requirements for animal agriculture are that emissions need to be calculated and reported only for the manure management system. Enteric fermentation (fermentation occurring naturally in the rumen or gut) is not included. Emissions from land application of manure are also not included.

Large facilities with more than one type of animal (even if the species present do not individually meet the population listed above) will need to calculate a combined animal group factor.

Reducing GHG Emissions Can Change Reporting Requirements

Facilities that implement technologies or management that reduce their GHG emissions will be able to cease reporting:

  • after 5 consecutive years of emissions below 25,000 metric tons CO2e/year
  • after 3 consecutive years of emissions below 15,000 metric tons CO2e/year
  • if the GHG-emitting processes or operations are shut down

Learning More About Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Animal Agriculture

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.